Verizon has deployed over 130,000 O-RAN capable radios – including massive MIMO antennas – as part of 15,000 O-RAN compliant cell sites utilising virtualised baseband units. This marks a major milestone in Verizon’s transition to Open RAN architecture, which promises greater flexibility, innovation, and supplier diversity in the radio access network ecosystem.
The open and interoperable interfaces enabled by O-RAN standards allow different hardware and software components to work together. This breaks away from the traditional model of being locked into solutions from a single vendor. Verizon believes Open RAN has the potential to drive competition and faster innovation in the RAN space, ultimately benefiting operators and customers.
“This news marks the second big commitment to OpenRAN from a major US operator within a couple of months – indicating the significant industry shift in momentum for open networking,” said Kristian Toivo, Executive Director at the Telecom Infra Project.
“The biggest operators worldwide are increasingly pledging to break away from the traditional approach to building networks, in favour of greater choice and the move to open, cloud-native networks.”
Starting in 2019, Verizon virtualised its core network by transitioning to a cloud-native, containerised architecture. In 2020, Verizon virtualised its baseband functions, which handle the heavy computing requirements of the radio access network. This laid the groundwork for the flexibility and integration speed that comes with O-RAN compliance.
“Verizon is fully supportive of O-RAN technology and is focused on commercialising an operationally sound O-RAN architecture,” commented Adam Koeppe, SVP of Technology Planning at Verizon.
“Our commitment to developing O-RAN standards and deploying compliant equipment in our network is helping drive the industry forward, which will result in a variety of benefits for our customers.”
With 130,000 O-RAN radios already deployed, Verizon is charging ahead with its Open RAN vision to shape the future of wireless networking. The early benefits hint at the innovation potential of a more open and competitive RAN ecosystem.
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